December 30, 2010

I get the easy part, I get to die

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 1:20 am by letterstoelias

We had this conversation a number of times in the weeks leading up to Elias’ death.  I didn’t deny it would be hard, though would often try to point out that he didn’t exactly have it ‘easy’ – but he believed it to be true, and he hated it.

“Sure, it’s hard for me too, but there’s an end to it.  Eventually it’s over for me.  I die.  You’re the one who has to live with it.”

It made him so, very upset.  Yet another example of the incredibly compassionate man I was fortunate enough to share 13yrs of my life with.

These types of conversations were extremely difficult – but I am thankful for them.  Part of me had my blinders on, convinced that we were going to find the ‘miracle cure’ and my focus was on keeping him alive, but I still knew how important they were.  There was so much yet that we didn’t discuss . . . . but I gather that would almost always be the case.  There’s never enough time.

And, it is so, very hard.  In far too many ways to express, though I have tried on these pages many times.  Many people will tell you that the first year is the hardest, though most widow/ers I know will state that year 2 can actually be harder in a number of ways.  I can attest to that.  The ‘first Christmas’ I felt intense sorrow and sadness and generally just wanted it all to go away – but I felt compelled on some level to try (at least in some areas).

This year I wanted even less to do with it.  And, in many ways I feel like I let Elias (and the girls) down for not putting forth more effort.   And though I was by no means glad for the main reason behind it (my dad had not been well), I was happy that we ended up skipping a traditional dinner.  We ordered Chinese take-out.  This is not to say that Christmas was ‘all bad’.  The girls still seemed to enjoy it thoroughly even with my ‘grinchy’ moments, and I managed to find some moments of light here and there as well.

Now New Years approaches, marking the 15yr anniversary of the night we met.  My 2nd without him since.  New Years was one of the hardest days of the ‘first year’ for me, so I hope in this case the 2nd will be easier – and I will have some company as my best friend and her family will be visiting for a few days – but, among other things, I hated the thought of not being able to say ‘My husband died this year.’  And I still haven’t taken down my 2009 calendar.

Now, I hate the thought of not being able to say ‘My husband died last year.’  The passage of time continues to take him farther and farther away.  It hits me hard when E will start speaking of a memory, ‘Remember last year when Daddy . . . . ‘ and already in some cases it was not only ‘last year’.

But, there’s still so much of this that I think would be easier to bear if it wasn’t for the girls.  Don’t get me wrong – they are my life, my joy, my love, and I have no idea where I would be without them – but I have such a hard time accepting that they got ripped off in so many, many ways.

Merry Christmas Daddy

The girls and I had an incredibly enjoyable day today.  It was peaceful, relaxing, we played games together, did puzzles, stories, baked soda bread, and I even managed to get a ‘bit’ of work done.  Days like this feel so rare.  Tonight at dinner we were playing a game.  Picking random, fun questions out of a box and each giving our answer in turn.  I was happy to pull the question, “Who do you consider to be a hero?”  When I read it, E smiled too and, without hesitation, answered “Daddy”.  C answered the same (though she often will).  I agreed, and shared that I had two other heros in my life.  As I was giving a wonderful list of reasons why, I saw E tear up and bury her face in her hands.  It wasn’t long before the heartbreaking sobs and cries of missing her Daddy followed.


Yes, My Love, it is hard.  Single parenting, supporting us alone, grieving, managing it all – but even all this would be so much easier to take if the girls didn’t have to suffer.  I’m glad to know they miss you, but it hurts to know it too.

Thankfully though, alongside growing up without you, without a father, and a fraction of what their mother used to be in some ways (though possibly more in others?), they are happy.  They are thriving.  They are beautiful.  And they love you.  Their Hero.


P.S.  I Love You



  1. Dear Chelsea,

    I tend to agree. Year two for me was harder also. Year one I was still in shock and spent most of the holidays just staring at the wall. Year two it was like I was fully awake and realized that I was alone with the kids.

    I’m living proof that it gets better however.

    My prayers and thoughts are with you.

    Chris A

    • letterstoelias said,

      Yes, staring a the wall describes the first Christmas so well. Hearing from others a little farther ahead on the road helps, and I’m glad to hear that things have improved for you . . . .


  2. Dianne said,

    Hi Chelsea ~ You’ve been in my thoughts a lot lately! I’m glad you acknowledged that you are in some ways more than you used to be…It is very true!

    The girls are absolutely beautiful…I LOVE the photo on the top right…just gorgeous!

    Take care!

    • letterstoelias said,

      Hi Dianne,

      Thanks, and I hope all is going well for you guys – I think of you and Lindsay often too . . . =)


  3. widowedowl said,

    I am hoping you get through New Years a best as you can.

    I feel the same way about the passage of time. A friend said to me recently that she couldn’t wait for 2010 to be over and knew I must feel the same way. I couldn’t feel more opposite. I just want this year ot never end. I don’t want to start a new year without my husband and have a year he will never see. I don’t want to be any further away from him.

    • letterstoelias said,

      Hi widowedowl,

      I had a quick peek at your blog – I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve met so many wonderful people on this same awful path and I’m thankful to have them in my life, but it never gets easier to hear of another ‘joining us’.

      Your words about not wanting to start a new year, one your husband will never see – echo my sentiments of last year exactly. It’s heartbreaking. Somehow, I survived that night, and another 364 since.

      I’ll be thinking of you, and wishing you find some moments of peace as the new year comes.


  4. Debbie said,

    Hi Chels,

    Great post. Year 2 is harder in so many ways. Watching our kids having to grow up without their Dad’s is so difficult and heartbreaking. And we are a fraction of what we used to be, but more in other ways. Your girls are so lucky to have you as their Mommy, raising them in love and with memories of their beloved Daddy all around.

    Our kids are going to be ok. The sad part is that they’re going to be different adults than they would have been if their Dads hadn’t died. It makes me sad that they may be better people because of learning how to survive after losing their Dad. Not that I don’t want them to be the best people possible but surely there’s a better way to learn the lessons they’re all learning in the hardest way.

    I still find it so ironic that the night you met Elias was the night I married Austin. I wish it wasn’t such a hard anniversary for both of us, but I’m glad to share our special night.

    I’ll try giving you a call tonight. Hope today is as good for you and the girls as yesterday.

    Love Deb

    • letterstoelias said,

      We are connected in that way, aren’t we Deb =)

      I’d love a chance to chat tonight – the girls should be asleep sometime around 8pm PST (hopefully!)

      Love you!

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